Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Meghan Markle’s close circle of friends in California

The Duchess of Sussex has friends ranging from Serena Williams and Katharine McPhee

meghan markle friends
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
Updated: 19 March 2024
Share this:

The Duchess of Sussex made an exciting move last week, as Meghan launched her new lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard. While the Duchess will have been supported by her husband, Prince Harry, and their two children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two, she also has a close gang of friends who no doubt will have supported the news.

Meghan has been interacting in Hollywood circles for years and so counts a range of A-list talent amongst her friends, including Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey.

Read on to find out all you need to know about Meghan's closest friends...

WATCH: Inside Prince Harry and Meghan's luxury Montecito home

Serena Williams

Meghan Markle laughing with Serena Williams and Hannah Davis© Kevin Mazur
Serena and Meghan used to be neighbours

Tennis pro Serena Williams first crossed paths with Meghan back in 2014 at a charity football match. "We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing and chatting—not about tennis or acting, but about good old-fashioned girly stuff. So began our friendship…

"She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was travelling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with a couple of weeks ago in Toronto," Meghan previously wrote on her now-defunct lifestyle website The Tig.

Serena used to be one of Meghan's neighbours when the Sussexes were briefly based in LA before moving to Montecito; the friends both lived in the same gated community in the exclusive Beverly Hills 90210 postcode.

Oprah Winfrey

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sitting opposite from Oprah Winfrey
Meghan and Harry did their infamous interview with Oprah

Oprah is a firm member of Meghan and Harry's 'squad' – they gave their first tell-all interview to the chat show host in 2021 after leaving royal life behind, plus their son Archie is a member of her book club, too. The media mogul was also a guest at the 2018 royal wedding. Oprah owns a £40.9million mansion in Montecito, California. Dubbed 'The Promised Land', it could make an excellent little getaway for the Sussexes.

Katharine McPhee

Selfie of Meghan Markle and Katharine McPhee© Instagram
Katharine and Meghan have been besties for years

Meghan and fellow actress Katharine grew up and performed in musicals together when they were kids. Katharine and her music producer husband David Foster were pictured joining Harry and Meghan at Lucky's Steakhouse in Montecito in October 2020.

Katharine has previously spoken about her husband's relationship with Harry revealing they were "like father and son". In an interview with Access Hollywood, she said: "My husband has a really, really beautiful relationship with Harry. They're like, they're so cute. They're like father and son." 

Abigail Spencer

A pregnant Meghan Markle walkign with Abigail Spencer© Gotham
Meghan and Abigail were co-stars on Suits

Abigail Spencer starred with Meghan on Suits, but they were friends long before the hit TV show. "I saw her and was like, 'Who is this gorgeous girl?' She was just so stunning and there was just something about her, and that's how we met," Abigail previously told ET.

The actress was also a guest at the royal wedding and helped throw Meghan her New York baby shower. She was even spotted hiking with Meghan and Harry near Vancouver Island during their six-week Christmas break in 2019.

Abigail appeared in Harry and Meghan's Netflix documentary in 2022, and shared her surprise at the way Meghan was written about, and explained how she banded together with a group of friends to shift the "narrative" in a more positive direction. "I said we have to turn this narrative around. It will just be her closest friends coming together to talk about the person who she really is in the middle of this [expletive] storm," she shared. 

Priyanka Chopra

Meghan Markle taking a selfie with Priyanka Chopra and a woman© Instagram
Priyanka visited Meghan following Archie's birth

Priyanka Chopra lives in the same neighbourhood as her pal Meghan and the pair have been friends for years, with Priyanka also in attendance at Meghan and Harry's wedding.

Rumours of a rift in their friendship surfaced after Meghan failed to make the nuptials of Priyanka and her now-husband Nick Jonas in India, in December 2018. However, Meghan was pregnant with Archie at the time, and following his birth in May 2019, Priyanka and Nick were among the first to visit the new parents at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor. They even reportedly went armed with a number of baby gifts from jewellers Tiffany & Co.

Lindsay Roth

Meghan Markle and Lindsay Roth at a sports game© Instagram
Lindsay and Meghan met while studying

Meghan and Lindsay became friends after they met while studying at Northwestern University. Meghan was the maid of honour at Lindsay's 2019 wedding, and when Lindsay wrote a book, What Pretty Girls Are Made Of, one of the characters was based off of the Duchess.

When it was claimed that Meghan had bullied staff in 2021, Lindsay came to her friend's defence, writing: "Meg's M.O. has always been kindness; goodwill runs in her bones. I know this to be true after 22 years of very close friendship. I have seen firsthand how she treats her friends and their families, and her colleagues."

Janina Gavankar

Meghan Markle and Janina Gavankar taking a selfie© Instagram
Janina and Meghan are both actresses

Meghan has been friends with the True Blood star for over 15 years and Janina was even the person who took the photo used by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their 2019 Christmas card.

Like Lindsay, Janina has also defended Meghan, once posting: " I have known Meghan for 17 years. Here's what she is: kind, strong, open. Here's what she's not: 'a bully.' ANY of us who know her, feel the same thing from her broken silence: Relief."

Doria Ragland

Doria Ragland and Meghan Markle arriving for the royal wedding© Samir Hussein
Doria and Meghan have a close bond

No 'inner circle' would be complete without Meghan's mum Doria Ragland. The social worker and yoga teacher has been a constant presence in Meghan's life and spent plenty of time in the UK to support her daughter in the run-up to the royal wedding and baby Archie's birth.

PHOTOS: Where do Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live? See inside £11m Montecito mansion

READ: Queen Elizabeth II's 'bemused' reaction after meeting Princess Lilibet

Like this story? Sign up to The Royal Explainer newsletter to receive your weekly dose of royal features and other exclusive content straight to your inbox.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Royalty

See more